The Verzasca Foto festival is held once a year, in the 87 inhabitant strong village of Sonogno at the very end of Valle Verzasca. For a few days between end of August and early September, photographs are on display throughout the village on house facades and in window recesses. To enhance the festival’s standing and to promote photography as an art form, the festival organisers and Pro Helvetia have also started a residency project.
«Residenze artistiche in Valle Verzasca» promotes cultural production in this remote region and enriches the Verzasca valley’s cultural offerings. Each year, two photo artists, one from Switzerland and the other from abroad, are invited to live and work for a month in Sonogno, Valle Verzasca. This gives them the opportunity to become acquainted with the valley, the people and their way of life, and enough time to produce new work in the context of these unfamiliar surroundings. The wider aim is to foster various forms of cultural exchange with local residents and to build up new, cross-regional networks. Work created during the residency is exhibited at the festival, and a small publication produced by local designers and publishers adds visibility both to the artwork and the Verzasca region.
The partnership with Pro Helvetia Switzerland ended in 2016 (Pro Helvetia New Delhi provided backing until 2017). The organisers continued the residency project together with SMArt (Sustainable Mountain Art and ERS/LVM (Ente Regionale per lo sviluppo del Locernese).